Monthly Archives: May 2016

There are all those fun things you imagine doing when you find out you’re having a little girl: tea parties, dress up, braids and bows, shopping, playing house, decorating a pretty room.

A few pink baby showers and generous grandparent gifts later, we pretty much are enveloped in glitter, Barbies and overwhelming girly-ness over here. Sure, my girls climb trees, but they do so in dresses and flip out of them to get down.

I’m still Switzerland on Barbie – there’s the whole unreal body size thing, but then again, if it hadn’t been for the approximately 84 dolls my mom bought me, my little sister would have been the next victim in line for my mad hair cutting skills during that stint where I actually thought I had a future as a hairdresser ( … and then later I made my kid grow her bangs out, because I couldn’t even handle trimming those). Maybe 84 Barbies x $10/each was a good trade off for the counseling fees my parents saved.

But the rest of girl stuff is in Camp Cute for me – I’ll admit I feel like a good mom if the girls are dressed stylishly and have their hair done. But then reality reminds me that I wouldn’t want to impede their independence or my sleep by getting up early enough to do curls and French braids. So they usually look like they just walked out of the costume aisle at Walmart, and they also have unkempt hair.

Then there’s a whole new world we’ve entered: dance. It was all fun and games, until the recital parent note and its requirement of a costume, tights, proper shoes, hair bow, curly ponytail and highly recommend blush, eye shadow, mascara, and the optional hairpiece.

Need I tell them what happened last time my kids touched mascara?

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When my now-five-year-old was in gymnastics last year, all she could talk about was ballet and doing a ‘groche-tay’ (grande jatte) (thanks, Angelina Ballerina). So I signed her up for ballet this last fall (and now all she talks about is doing gymnastics again). When we went to the open house, my now-three-year-old (who was 2.5 at the time) looked at me with big eyes and said “I want to be in ba-la-let too.” So we left $120 in registration and first month’s tuition fees poorer.

And now, fast forward 10 months and the aforementioned purchased shoes, costume/tutu, tights, hair bow, plus monthly tuition, pictures, recital tickets and a DVD later, here we are.

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And by here, I mean trying to get out the door for their mandatory dress rehearsal (read: can’t participate without attending practice for the recital that their grandma and aunt are driving 100+ miles to watch them have their 3 minutes of fame in and we paid $42 just in tickets for).

Two girls, four tear-stained cheeks. One because she just woke up, and the other because she never went to sleep. One frantic mom who can’t find her keys. The ‘don’t talk to mom until we leave the driveway’ rule in effect. We finally hijack my husband’s truck while he’s on a conference call. It conveniently ominously threatens it’s flashing LOW FUEL light all the way there.

Arrive at rehearsal 20 minutes late, realize dance shoes are in the diaper bag for the baby left with the conference-calling-husband. Hope there’s a mute button!

“Mom, we’re the only ones without our hair bows YOU forgot.”

There’s absolutely nothing cuter than a stageful of three, four, and five year olds who look like they’ve been dipped in cotton candy twirling off beat, but I’m just not sure I’m cut out for this dance mom thing.

Bad dance mom? Maybe. But they got there, and I totally couldn’t stop smiling the whole time they were on stage. Thank goodness for practice dress rehearsals. If only life gave you such a thing.


the age of princesses

There is a video I found
From back when I was three
You set up a paint set in the kitchen
And you’re talking to me
It’s the age of princesses and pirate ships
And the seven dwarfs
And Daddy’s smart
And you’re the prettiest lady in the whole wide world

My daughters love Taylor Swift. As much as I’m not a fan of them running around singing “She wears short skirts, I wear T-shirts. You belong with meeeeee,” when I forget to skip that song (thank you, 20-year-old, boy-crazy version of T.Swift), her Best Day (lyrics above) song my girls call their ‘Cinderella song,’ is a sweet reminiscence of Taylor’s own childhood.

And indeed, it is the age of princesses in our house. Our girls are all about Rapunzel, bows and bling. Our oldest went to her first Daddy-Daughter Dance this spring, complete with a ‘makeup’/nail polish/lotion/best dress/hair curling pamper session beforehand.

As I was trying to set a curl in the wisps of her pin-straight blonde hair that clearly did not come from my genes, she talked about how grown up she felt.

“I probably look five or six or 17,” she kept saying.

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Parenting in these little years is fun and exhausting, blissful and frustrating – a long whirlwind.  Although some (most) days I am sustained by coffee and nap rest play just stay the hell in your room for an hour time, I realized that she’s not always going to let me do her hair. Watching my big girl climb on her bike with the training wheels freshly removed, it hit me that the ‘age of princesses’ is really just a stage.

Most of the time the chaos feels so all-encompassing it’s as if it will always be this way. It feels like I will never come out of the grocery store without doughnuts, bubble gum, diapers, and another sippy cup that will surely leak (already 72 dollars poorer than I had planned, all the while tallying up how many bottles of wine I can still afford). I realize I’ve yelled more than I want to. I panic when I know full well that I have not enjoyed every bickering-filled, yogurt-smeared, butt-wiping moment, yet it’s going way, way too fast.

Already gone are the pigtails, replaced by wanting grown-up curls. The ‘look at me’s’ will turn in to ‘leave me be’s’. Just when I’m starting to embrace the crazy-messy-loud-full of love time that is life with little kids.

The other day, my younger daughter was talking about what she wanted to be when she grew up.

“I want to be Rachel when I get big,” she proudly stated.

I was caught in a crossfire, wondering whether to change the subject and remain blissfully ignorant that she wanted to be me, or be crushed to know she really meant her babysitter whom she adores, also named Rachel.

“Rachel who?” I slowly asked.

“I want to be Rachel Dawn Stine. You, Mommy.”

The same child who just hours earlier told me with her lip stuck out all pouty “I am really mad at you,” reminded me of why this parent thing is so worth it. That’s love … and the beauty of a short attention span of a preschooler.

Maybe, hopefully, they will remember there were days where Mommy was crazy, but always crazy about them. And I hope that somehow these carefree days will be part of their own Cinderella stories.